Moonlighting (1985) – The Next Murder You Hear, and Next Stop Murder

Peter Silveman pens the first episode up this week. The Next Murder You Hear, debuted on 19 March, 1985, and drops a murder right in the laps of Maddie (Cybill Shepherd) and David (Bruce Willis) when a radio deejay who hosts a lonely hearts program, Paul McCann (Gregg Henry) is murdered on air.

David sees it as a huge opportunity, despite the fact that they don’t have a client. His thoughts are, that if they can solve the murder it will give then a great name in town, and help draw clients.

Maddie doesn’t want it, because she doesn’t like Paul’s image of a man who has slept around, and David thinks she’s upset and won’t take the case because it means everyone is having sex but her, that she’s lonely.

Of course, they start working the leads, even as Maddie listens to old tapes of Paul’s show, and connects to what he is saying. But, of course, things aren’t always what they seem as the duo continue their investigation and twists and reveals are played out, leading to arguments about who they believe is the actual murderer. And happily, the sexual tension between Addison and Maddie is actually there in a really well-written way, that has been missed up until now.

The script is a probably the best one yet, the dialogue is tighter, the performances right on point, with both the leads settled into their roles. The delivery is fast and back to the Howard Hawks’s style that served the pilot so well.

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Next Stop Murder was written by Ali Marie Matheson and Kerry Ehrin. It debuted on 26 March, 1985, and has a lot of fun in its storytelling.

Agnes DiPesto (Allyce Beasley), Blue Moon’s administrative assistant, has won a competition which allows her to join in on a train journey, which will play out a Murder On the Orient Express-style murder mystery game.

David and Maddie accompany her to the station, and then miss the opportunity to get off the train. They figure it’s all fun and games, but when an actual murder occurs, there are a number of suspects and it’s up to the Blue Moon Detective Agency to solve the crime.

Vincent Schiavelli (who was married to Beasley at the time) plays the technical specialist to Rick Jason’s J.B. Harland, the mystery author that Agnes idolizes and is hosting the Murder Train. But when Harland turns up dead, what guest killed him? David, Maddie, and Agnes have twenty-four hours to figure out who’s responsible…

… and everyone has a motive.

it’s a nice nod to the classic murder mysteries that the series takes some of its inspiration from. It’s a lot of fun, and there’s more next week as we close out the first season, and jump into season two of Moonlighting!

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